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Mild Mannered Reviews - Special Comics

DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe #4

DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 15, 2014

Cover date: March 2014

"Worlds Collide"

Writer: Keith Giffen (plot), Tony Bedard (script)
Penciller: Pop Mhan
Inker: Pop Mhan

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

On the Orkney Islands in the United Kingdom Evil Lynn, Prince Adam, his mother and Teela find a mystic energy syphon that is not only Skeletor's handiwork but also part of the cause that is bleeding the magic of Earth dry and thus destroying it. Teela wants to destroy it but Evil-Lynn says no because it will alert Skeletor that they are on his trail. She can use the syphon to trace its signal to Skeletor's location. Adam suggests that she hurry because if they don't stop his uncle who will?

In Metropolis the Justice League of America is in all-out battle with Man-At-Arms and his people. Batman continues to investigate Superman's death and has his doubts that it actually happened. An off-hand comment from Alfred allows him to put the final pieces of the puzzle in place and he takes off. At the House of Secrets Black Alice and Skeletor realize that if Orko's plans come to fruition neither of them will be around for much longer. Back in Metropolis, or at least on the outskirts of Metropolis the Justice League Dark intervenes in the fight which puts a hold on the hostilities. Batman arrives and explains that Skeletor replaced Superman with a magical fake so strong that even he didn't know that it was a false Man of Steel. It was a ruse to get both sides fighting against each other rather than against Skeletor but now they know what's going they are going to pull together, save both their worlds and rescue Superman... wherever he is.

4Story - 4: Part of me wants to complain that this is the middle chapter of the series and that we got nothing but long, extended fight scenes. Another part of me is looking at that part and saying, "Shut up! You have waited your entire life for this to happen! Enjoy it already!" See, this story isn't meant to redefine comics for a new generation. It isn't meant to be the next WATCHMEN or DARK KNIGHT or PLANETARY, etc. It's meant to mash up two fictional worlds to make the fans happy and the publisher some bank. There is nothing wrong with this. Here's the thing; even though it is a story meant to mash up two fictional worlds to make the fans happy and the publisher some bank it is also a really well written comic.

So yeah, this is the middle chapter where everyone is fighting but around that the plot moved forward and two major revelations were dropped on us. First, there is more to Orko than I previously thought. To be fair my main exposure to him in this new version of MOTU was the last page from last issue but tying him to the Horde, as they seem to be doing, was a neat idea and made the big bad an even bigger threat. It was a great scene to drop in the middle of the issue made even better by the quick back and forth between Alice and Skeletor. Then there was the final page revealing that Superman is indeed alive. To be fair we all knew this was going to happen. They aren't going to kill Superman in this sort of crossover but the lead up to the revelation and the final page elevated this comic out of the "they fight and fight and fight and fight and fight" type of crossover it could have become.

Not that the fighting was bad. Actually it was kind of awesome. Hawkman vs. Stratos was genius. Man-At-Arms vs. Green Arrow worked out nicely as well. I was a little less sold on Green Lantern vs. Moss Man but it led to the bit with Swamp Thing so I let that one go. The one fight that bugged me was Martian Manhunter vs. Battle Cat. It... didn't work for me. I like Battle Cat but J'onn is a bit out of his league. Other than that the action in this issue was top notch.

We're heading into the home stretch of this series and everything is firing on all cylinders. Now all we need is Superman to be freed and Adam to become He-Man and this should be game, set and match. I am really looking forward to the last two issues of this series.

4Art - 4: The art was great this month. Pop Mhan gave us some great battle pages in addition to the quieter scenes in the Batcave and the House of Secrets. Well, maybe the scene at the House of Secrets didn't end quietly but still. The art definitely added to the enjoyment of this issue and gave us some really fun scenes.

4Cover Art - 4: This is a nice cover. The pairing of He-Man/Constantine and Teela/Zatanna is a bit odd but it works. We've gotten three epic confrontation covers thus far so this was a nice change of pace.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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